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Thread: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

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    HCHeyerdahl
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    HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

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    They compare out of camera raw and jpgs. I am not sure how useful that is. Anyway, when I compare the S2 with the D800 jpgs the S2 images appear to me to be somewhat less muchy and have a certain added contrast or however one might describe it. Is this an example showing what others (Marc?) describes as more micro contrast in the S2/leica lenses?

    Chris
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Interesting read and comparison. Seems to be an even handed analysis. Thanks for posting it.

    I think it clearly shows the paradigm shift that the D800 brings to the party. For the generalist photographer the new Nikon is a dream come true ... close enough for much more demanding applications, with few of the draw-back associated with MFD, thus making it applicable to more types of photography.

    I cannot comment on the D800 IQ since I haven't even touched one let alone used it. If I could get my hands on a demo I'd run my own tests to determine how well it fits my real world criteria.

    Based on D800 images posted to date, it produces a higher resolution version of a familiar look and feel that I observed from actual use of the D3X, D3 combo and newer Nano coated Nikon optics, (I do not include Zeiss ZF lenses in this observation because I don't use manual focus lenses on a 35mm DSLR anymore).

    I left Nikon because I do not favor that look, and after making an apples-to-apples comparison between the D3X and A900 with all Zeiss ZA AF lenses (all of which are image stabilized), I chose the Sony.

    So, the paradigm shift for me in terms of 35mm DSLRs will be if and what Sony does with that D800 sensor in their cameras (A99?) ...which the reviewer casually hinted at. The Sony will undoubtedly be a EVF camera with the next gen EVF tech ... which would be fine with me as it will further differ from cameras like the H4D and S2 and bring additional usefulness for diverse applications (I've never relied on one camera system to do everything).

    I can say that I did spend considerable time comparing the H4D/40 and Leica S2 before committing to the S2P (I had a S2 Demo for almost 2 weeks while still owing the H4D/40). IQ was extremely close but in the end the S2 won out due to Leica's extraordinary S optics and my preference for the Leica look and feel over almost anything else including Zeiss (Micro contrast, or whatever you want to call it) ... Plus the weather sealing and highly usable form factor of the S2. I sold the H4D/40 and replaced it with a H4D/60 that further distinguished itself as different with use of the Dalsa sensor and additional resolution ... and I add the more useful sensor ratio to that resolution factor compared to a D800 or S2. If I could wrangle a way, I'd be using a H4D/200 for the applications I use a modular MFD for in the first place.

    -Marc
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    There is something to the Leica images that I can't quite put my finger on that makes them jump. I have to admit that I was expecting more from the Hasselblad and less from the D800.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Interesting. Both the Hassy and S2 are clearly a tad better than the D800 (not an 800e, however), with the Hassy just edging it over the S2. That also seems to be the conbcusion of the testers. The SD1 is nowhere in comparison. Based on that test, if image quality was the *only* consideration, I'd choose the H4D-40.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    From this test the Leica S2 is the clear winner - sigh ....

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    I wouldn't kick any of 'em out of bed.

    Seriously, I wouldn't choose one over another based on IQ.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    High praise indeed Keith.

    When I look at your work - I wonder what this MP madness is all about....?

    Have a good Easter, S

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Be careful of contrast it will give the appearance of sharper. The S2 for example looks contrastier than the Hassy. Not saying one better than the other but watch appearances.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    I have looked at these shots again and again and there is significantly more data in the H4D-40 shot compared with the Leica S2. The S2 might have a tad more contrast, but the H4D-40 has more actual image information.
    Quentin Bargate
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    The Leica seems to be exposed slightly brighter than the others, but I agree that there's a certain ambience in the Leica photo, at least at low ISO, that makes me prefer that. But at ISO 400, the Hasselblad seems to have the edge. Above 800 is obviously Nikon territory.

    But the real question is: How will these cameras compare in real life photography, on print at realistic viewing distances.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Frankly, I always remain suspicious of those using certain software unless they are VERY familiar with it. Hasselblad's Phocus being a prime example. I also must have missed the part about what lenses were used, and in the case of Hasselblad's optics, which version.

    Most of all, in the headlong rush to meg count, and web sized comparisons as proof of something or another, I'm still not sure folks grasp the real world differences between all these imaging choices.

    As Jorgen observed, " ...what is the comparison in real life photography, and on print at realistic viewing distances" ... to which I'd add the cropping factor that can happen in real life, and most certainly happens for commercial applications.

    Attached is a little chart that gathers some basic info onto one sheet ... namely, actual sensor sizes as they relate to one another which indicates the degree of enlargement required for any given final application. In my experience the actual effect of "degree of enlargement" has a direct visual effect on the apparent feeling of depth, over-all sense of clarity, and degree of visual tonal gradations, and apparent effect of noise ... even at real world print viewing distances.

    To that, I've added a Print Ratio overlay that indicates the efficiency of each sensor ratio as it relates to the most common print sizes. Where the color ratio diagonal line intersects the top edge of the sensor ratio boxes shows what you tossing out compared to other ratios. Not that everyone follows these print ratios, but they ARE the most used, ordered, and are most certainly common for many commercial applications.

    So, to make a 30"X40" print from a H4D/50 or 60, you are basically using ALL of the sensor resolution requiring less enlargement percentage, compared to the S2 and D800 which are cropping out a fair amount of their resolution thus requiring an even greater enlargement percentage to make the same print. IMO, and direct experience this has an obvious, and sometimes profound effect on the apparent noise, tonal gradations and so on ... as it applies to a real world print.

    I would hazard a prediction that as more of the 35mm DSLRs approach the 30 and 40 meg territory, MFD makers will simply abandon the crop frame versions of their backs and concentrate on fewer larger sized sensors with 60 meg the entry level, and go up from there. If ALL of their products are more concentrated, it should lead to more efficient manufacture and relative pricing ... or it'll simple be more speciality solutions with more and more specific custom applications like Phase's recent aerial and repro cameras, and Hasselblad's on-going aerial specialty products ... and expand outward from there.

    Whether one needs that sort of IQ performance or wants it, is a personal decision.

    -Marc

    (Click graphic to make larger)

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    So, to make a 30"X40" print from a H4D/50 or 60, you are basically using ALL of the sensor resolution requiring less enlargement percentage, compared to the S2 and D800 which are cropping out a fair amount of their resolution thus requiring an even greater enlargement percentage to make the same print.
    Sorry, that is just fixing criteria to meet your argument. A print does not need to be a 4:3 ratio, it could be a 3:2 ratio (30x45) in which case the 4:3 sensors are at a disadvantage.

    I think what you will see at proper viewing distances is the difference in sensor sizes--a different DoF and differences in micro-contrast because a larger sensor is working at different frequency.

    I am not sure why MFD manufacturers would abandon the 1.16 or 1.27 crop sensors. When 35mm hit 24MP, 22MP and 33MP MFDB where/are still kept in production. Pixel counting is not the point. Sensor size is the difference. When the Nex 9 comes out with a 36MP APS-C sensor, do you think that will eliminate the 35mm format and folks will throw their MFD cameras on a bonfire? I am also wondering why the Sony Nex 7 and STL77 was not heralded as the FF killer which will send Canon and Nikon FF cameras into the pages of history.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Sorry, that is just fixing criteria to meet your argument. A print does not need to be a 4:3 ratio, it could be a 3:2 ratio (30x45) in which case the 4:3 sensors are at a disadvantage.

    I think what you will see at proper viewing distances is the difference in sensor sizes--a different DoF and differences in micro-contrast because a larger sensor is working at different frequency.

    I am not sure why MFD manufacturers would abandon the 1.16 or 1.27 crop sensors. When 35mm hit 24MP, 22MP and 33MP MFDB where/are still kept in production. Pixel counting is not the point. Sensor size is the difference. When the Nex 9 comes out with a 36MP APS-C sensor, do you think that will eliminate the 35mm format and folks will throw their MFD cameras on a bonfire? I am also wondering why the Sony Nex 7 and STL77 was not heralded as the FF killer which will send Canon and Nikon FF cameras into the pages of history.
    Well, the question at hand was real world ... and I sell prints in the real world to clients that order based on use, framing and stuff like that all the time. They want 8X10s and 11 X14s .... and most large prints are 16 X 20s and a few 30x40s.

    If you're making prints for yourself, or framing your prints for sale you can do anything you want.

    As far as whether keeping the crop sensor MFD solutions remains, the market will dictate that, not anyone's theory ... your's or mine included. Some MFD companies kept 22 and 33 meg when 24 meg made its debut, Hasselblad did not, nor their 16 or 39 backs. They kept the 31 as a low priced entry as a marketing ploy, but I seriously doubt that'll last. The 40 may be around for a few years, but as the impact of the higher meg 35mm DSLRs is felt, I think those will disappear also. Just read all the propaganda people believe about the equality of the D800 compared to 40 meg MFD ... that is the market speaking.

    -Marc

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Just read all the propaganda people believe about the equality of the D800 compared to 40 meg MFD ... that is the market speaking.

    -Marc
    No argument there. Camera companies need something to sell and pixels in quantity have always been the draw. But I stopped chasing the latest when I gave up wearing green polyester leisure suits. The success of my work has nothing to do with how many dots are in it, as I am sure you understand.

    What I think will be interesting for folks moving up the the D800 is not how many pixels there are, but the computing power and storage they will need. If pixel counts just keep going up, I am just going to need another hobby to fill in the time while I process and move all the data.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Considering there even is a comparison between 2 very pricey MFD's, and a cheap 35mm, and the differences are only slight; says a lot about the D800.
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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Considering there even is a comparison between 2 very pricey MFD's, and a cheap 35mm, and the differences are only slight; says a lot about the D800.
    Yeah... it's got me in a bit of a predicament right now as I need something for some wide angle (architectural) and journalistic work... both of which I haven't been doing for some time. I'm pretty sure I could post-process D800 images to be basically indistinguishable from my Aptus files in most any situation.

    I don't care for the 35mm form factor and viewfinder... but from a pure utility standpoint, the D800 now has basically all the bases covered. The IQ (and color, IMO) are better than previous Nikon bodies as well from the few samples I've seen.

    Damn, I wish I had enough money for a tech cam, an RZ, and the new Nikon

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Damn, I wish I had enough money for a tech cam, an RZ, and the new Nikon
    All things considered, I would start with the Nikon for $3k and add the tech cam later (you still have the RZ, right?).

    Bottom line, the Nikon D800 is a bargain.

    Gary

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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    All things considered, I would start with the Nikon for $3k and add the tech cam later (you still have the RZ, right?).

    Bottom line, the Nikon D800 is a bargain.

    Gary
    Yeah... but I'm back in Doctoral studies (with 3 kids) and don't have the $$$ to just add a system. All of a sudden, the Nikon looks super compelling whereas before I wouldn't give it a second thought.

    I've been looking through D800 samples on 500px.com and, all in all, they don't have the dimensionality of my aptus that I can usually see even in web sized shots, but they do look nice.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Sorry, that is just fixing criteria to meet your argument. A print does not need to be a 4:3 ratio, it could be a 3:2 ratio (30x45) in which case the 4:3 sensors are at a disadvantage.\
    I always hesitate to disagree with Marc, but from my own perspective (non-commercial, choose any print size I want), I would have to agree Shashin.

    I choose the paper that maximizes use of the image aspect ratio of my original image and so Marc's constraints are not constraints for me. If I'm printing from full frame 35mm images, 11x17, 13x19 and soon 17x25 are just fine with me. One great thing about the D800....I'll be able to print on 17x25 paper at 300 dpi with native resolution!!

    Gary

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Shelby,

    I think with a few good Zeiss primes and the D800, and some creative post; you might get close to the look of the Aptus...maybe.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Yeah... but I'm back in Doctoral studies (with 3 kids) and don't have the $$$ to just add a system. All of a sudden, the Nikon looks super compelling whereas before I wouldn't give it a second thought.
    Choosing whether to replace the RZ/Aptus with the Nikon D800 or a tech cam....now that would be a much tougher decision.

    Honestly, I hate those kinds of decisions....which is why I try my best to never make them.

    Keep the existing system and add another, that's my motto....and for as long as I can afford it, I'm sticking with it!

    Gary

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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    ...maybe.
    That's the scary part...

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    What about PC lenses and the D800? Has anyone posted those experiences yet?

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    What about PC lenses and the D800? Has anyone posted those experiences yet?
    None that I've seen.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    Yeah... but I'm back in Doctoral studies (with 3 kids) and don't have the $$$ to just add a system. All of a sudden, the Nikon looks super compelling whereas before I wouldn't give it a second thought.

    I've been looking through D800 samples on 500px.com and, all in all, they don't have the dimensionality of my aptus that I can usually see even in web sized shots, but they do look nice.
    How difficult is it to get your back to work on a Mamiya 645 body? It might be a less expensive way to go wide.

  26. #26
    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    How difficult is it to get your back to work on a Mamiya 645 body? It might be a less expensive way to go wide.
    It'll bolt right on (I started on an afd III) since it's mamiya mount... and I considered that... still am. But the 28mm (which is what I'd probably need) is at least $4K. Add a cheap body, a few other primes and you're still back in (for me) big dollar land.

    I don't want to get this whole thread too OT with my gear concerns... sorry if I've done so.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Interesting reading, seems like a fair appraisal. Being a Leica fan since I owned the R8s and Leica glass, I chose the path of the S2. I've used the D3x with both Nikon and Zeiss glass, but to my taste (and it may be biased) the S2 with Leica glass is a stellar performer.

    S2, 35MM Summarit, 1/90 @ 4.8, handheld
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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Maybe I'm wrong, but Leica's decision to go with an oversized sensor, despite the costs associated with R&D and to use current technology etc, seems to be a smart LONG TERM plan. I say this because they have room to move with regards to pixel count and building their lens system compared to legacy 35mm systems that seem, on the surface of things at least, to be at or reaching their technical limit. I guess all this means that the lucky few who can afford the S2 are effectively helping Leica build a system that in the fullness of time MIGHT be the new "full frame" standard. I can see APS-C cameras being the normal for advanced amateur use – especially with cameras like the NEX etc. How long do you think it will take for Nikon or more probably Canon to release a new larger sensor system camera, a la the S2, to showcase their knowhow and technology?

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    How long do you think it will take for Nikon or more probably Canon to release a new larger sensor system camera, a la the S2, to showcase their knowhow and technology?
    I don't know. That would seem a pretty radical move from a company like Nikon, whose central idea is a camera system that lets you keep your lenses no matter what comes next. They'd basically be reinventing themselves as a company.

    In this regard it seems easier for a company to introduce a smaller format (Nikon's DX cameras, Leica's S2) than a larger one. You make a bigger sensor, you require all new lens technology, and your customers need to reinvest in everything.

    Not saying it couldn't happen (who knows?) but it would be a big deal strategically, and probably beyond the ability of any of us to speculate. I do like the idea, if it means Nikon's R&D and economies of scale being used to make MF more economical.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong, but Leica's decision to go with an oversized sensor, despite the costs associated with R&D and to use current technology etc, seems to be a smart ... How long do you think it will take for Nikon or more probably Canon to release a new larger sensor system camera, a la the S2, to showcase their knowhow and technology?
    I don't think there is a big enough market for an over-sized Nikon or Canon. Both could most certainly do it, but that'd mean all new lenses etc., Huge R&D investment for a smallish market would seem imprudent. On the other hand, smaller market share, high ticket items is what Leica does.

    We have to remember that Leica basically had to start from scratch. The R system was all manual focus lenses, so not only did it need all new AF lenses, the body also had to conform to AF. Leica said there was no way they could compete with Nikon or Canon with a 35mm DSLR, so they went their own way. Given today's sensor technology and pixel pitch, I could easily see a 60 meg S3 without changing the current sensor size or size of the camera ... and the lenses are more than up to it. It'd be over-kill IMHO, but would make a nice studio and location camera for some applications I suppose.

    -Marc

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I don't think there is a big enough market for an over-sized Nikon or Canon. .....
    We have to remember that Leica basically had to start from scratch. The R system was all manual focus lenses, so not only did it need all new AF lenses, the body also had to conform to AF. Leica said there was no way they could compete with Nikon or Canon with a 35mm DSLR, so they went their own way. Given today's sensor technology and pixel pitch, I could easily see a 60 meg S3 without changing the current sensor size or size of the camera ... and the lenses are more than up to it. It'd be over-kill IMHO, but would make a nice studio and location camera for some applications I suppose.

    -Marc

    I guess I have to agree with Marc (see my bolded area) ...and it is one reason I revived this thread...although limited to three cameras, it raises overall issues of where MF is going...

    I have been so busy I missed the last 12 mos of thinking here, and now look back on the P25, P45, P65 IQ180 asw ell as several trips with the S2 and M9. I am wondering whether the 40-50MP range really IS the 'sweet spot" MAYBE up to 60. I think Guy made a persussive argument for the IQ160, and I feel IQ, useable IQ leveled off at the p45+. (Son recently said he thought that was the Phase One "peak")

    Now, for various reasons I am reworking my whole setup (also had a whole room of almost new, unused equipment to sell) and wanted a clean start. I consideredP1/IQ160, Alpa with P45+ and an M9 or just the S2...

    Although this thread tested more head to head in the 40MP range, it does open up the thinking on where we should focus...maybe better ISO? better lenses?

    So many people here mention the Leica S2 "je ne sais quoi" that I don't think it is all imagination. So, all measurements aside, when you SEE that a camera captures the quality you want, does it matter if you pick up a few more cracks in the cement floor in the shadows???

    One last observation; this is the only real MF thread I found on MF backs (and no dedicated Phase One IQ1x0 thread!!!) for a couple of weeks, and nothing on the backs (and even the S2 images are relegated to a forum that is for "Leica M,X,R" no mention even of the S2. Yet is gets mentioned in BOTH sub fora.)

    Oh well, just some random observations relative to MF...the bottom line is this; MF threads are talking about ancillary issues, DSLRs (D800 etc) and 'quasi-MF" (the S2) so that I wonder whether there really is now, a leveling off of technology, where we can get back to mostly talking about photography and less about equipment...



    NOT!!!!!!

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Yes I have been busy too - looking for a farm and making photographs. There is only so much time for forums. But GETDPI has a wonderful range of users and opinions to click into to 'catch-up'.

    Leica have just broadened the range of useable optics for S2 via their new H adaptor- amazing collaboration between companies...congratulations and salutations.,..

    The D800 is a no brainer value buy - especially for anyone with Nikon lenses..most exciting thing for me is the use of live view with the Nikon PC lenses.

    Thanks to the OP for posting.

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    Re: HD40 vs S2 vs D800 - found this test which may be of interest

    Off topic: that's a beautiful painting.

    Quote Originally Posted by aboudd View Post
    Interesting reading, seems like a fair appraisal. Being a Leica fan since I owned the R8s and Leica glass, I chose the path of the S2. I've used the D3x with both Nikon and Zeiss glass, but to my taste (and it may be biased) the S2 with Leica glass is a stellar performer.

    S2, 35MM Summarit, 1/90 @ 4.8, handheld

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